Reimagining the Future of Office Space

Published on Jan 20, 2023
Listen on:

What if you could design your ideal post-pandemic office from scratch? We did.

There has been extensive debate over how companies will design and utilize office space in the months, years and decades to come. As an investor in commercial real estate, my company, Cadre, has had a front row seat into this debate, and into how many landlords and real estate operators are actually reimagining their workspaces for an unknown future.

At Cadre, we believe in the immense value of in-person interactions, but we also recognize that hybrid work has become increasingly popular, and that its popularity is here to stay.We have invested in the future of our company by designing and building Cadre’s offices with a “people-first” centered working design—one that we hope makes our teams want to spend as much time in the office as possible.

Here are some best practices we learned along the way.


Office space design must be driven by “the market.” Today’s market is largely driven by employee sentiment and data.Even before the pandemic, census data from 2019 found that commute time was one of the largest challenges to worker productivity. This focus on commuting has only increased following the pandemic.

At Cadre, we surveyed our employees, collecting extensive data that allowed us to better understand each team member’s commuting patterns. We found that for our team members in the Greater New York Metro area, commuting to our previous office space in SoHo took an average of 3.2 hours roundtrip. We used this data to settle on a location that would reduce the average round trip travel time and also provide easy access to multiple transit lines. Our new office space is located in Gramercy and in a building with amenities like groceries, retail, and a gym, all within easy walking distance of a number of restaurants and parks. Amenities like these can smooth the transition and make the office a more enjoyable place for everyone.


Since the start of the pandemic, we have noticed that working remotely can lead to exclusionary practices due to proximity bias, as these employees are not physically present during meetings and therefore can be overlooked for promotions and other opportunities. To combat these negative effects, we have implemented policies that ensure everyone is able to have meaningful interactions no matter where they are working that day. Everyone at Cadre has access to a professional Zoom account, consistent one-on-one meetings with company leadership, and every potential promotion is reviewed by our full leadership team with an emphasis on fair, objective criteria and substantive examples of how employees have embodied our company values (regardless of location) in promotion decisions.


Beyond easing the commute, we wanted our space to better serve the personal needs of our employees by mirroring their home working styles. For instance, we recognized the unique needs of working mothers. Working mothers often lack access to adequate private space to pump breast milk. In our office, there are dedicated wellness rooms with private areas to pump, refrigerate, and store breast milk.

In a recent McKinsey report, one-third of respondents said their return to work had a negative impact on their mental health, while half of those still working remotely anticipated a negative mental health impact from returning to office. As companies return to the office, taking a people-first approach can help ease the transition while implementing healthier policies to improve worker wellbeing. We wanted to ensure all of our employees have physical space to decompress as needed with private spaces to serve their mental health needs. We have a dedicated space that offers privacy, so new mothers are able to pump and any employee to take a minute to relax during the day. To provide our employees with the most comfortable set up, we have furnished the office with standing desks and ergonomic chairs—some of the amenities people have come to expect as they’ve created custom work-from-home offices over the past 2.5 years.

We believe hybrid work will be the predominant working style of the future for knowledge workers as it is the most inclusive dynamic available. We embraced this model by investing in technology solutions to allow for connectivity to all employees regardless of where they are located, phone booths for those in the office taking private calls, and open-spaced cabanas for group work. Each conference room also has the latest video conferencing technology to ensure all team members feel connected and included in collaborative opportunities.


As more companies bring more employees back to physical space, employers need to be future-minded and consider where their organizations will be long term. Our team at Cadre is growing, so our selected space accommodates the anticipated potential of continued growth. We believe it is important to stay open-minded about the office hubs companies create, focusing on areas that are growing fast, plentiful in talent, and often overlooked. By in large, the landlords and operators we have observed who are thriving – even in a challenging time for office properties – are those who maintain the aforementioned tenets, driven by an employee and people-first approach.


Educational Communication
Not AdviceThe views expressed above are presented only for educational and informational purposes and are subject to change in the future. No specific securities or services are being promoted or offered herein.

Not Advice
This communication is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice in relation to the relevant subject matter; investors must seek their own legal or other professional advice.

Performance Not Guaranteed
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections are not guaranteed and may not reflect actual future performance.

Risk of Loss
All securities involve a high degree of risk and may result in partial or total loss of your investment.

Liquidity Not Guaranteed
Investments offered by Cadre are illiquid and there is never any guarantee that you will be able to exit your investments on the Secondary Market or at what price an exit (if any) will be achieved.

Not a Public Exchange
The Cadre Secondary Market is NOT a stock exchange or public securities exchange, there is no guarantee of liquidity and no guarantee that the Cadre Secondary Market will continue to operate or remain available to investors.

Opportunity Zones Disclosure
Any discussion regarding “Opportunity Zones” ⁠— including the viability of recycling proceeds from a sale or buyout ⁠— is based on advice received regarding the interpretation of provisions of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Jobs Act”) and relevant guidances, including, among other things, two sets of proposed regulations and the final regulations issued by the IRS and Treasury Department in December of 2019. A number of unanswered questions still exist and various uncertainties remain as to the interpretation of the Jobs Act and the rules related to Opportunity Zones investments. We cannot predict what impact, if any, additional guidance, including future legislation, administrative rulings, or court decisions will have and there is risk that any investment marketed as an Opportunity Zone investment will not qualify for, and investors will not realize the benefits they expect from, an Opportunity Zone investment. We also cannot guarantee any specific benefit or outcome of any investment made in reliance upon the above.

Cadre makes no representations, express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of this information, and the reader accepts all risks in relying on the above information for any purpose whatsoever. Any actual transactions described herein are for illustrative purposes only and, unless otherwise stated in the presentation, are presented as of underwriting and may not be indicative of actual performance. Transactions presented may have been selected based on a number of factors such as asset type, geography, or transaction date, among others. Certain information presented or relied upon in this presentation may have been obtained from third-party sources believed to be reliable, however, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the information presented.

No U.S. or foreign securities commission or regulatory authority has recommended or approved any investment or the accuracy or completeness of any of the information or materials provided by or through us.

Sign up

Related articles

No items found.
Sign up for the Cadre platform
Gain full access to our thought leadership, product offerings and more
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.